So… that happened.
Even now when I think back to last night, it still feels like a blur in my mind. The thing about going to Hogwarts is that this school just feels like the ultimate shield against evil. Even though we had read about the Death Eater rebellions in the Daily Prophet all throughout summer, we could always come back to Hogwarts and forget that the wizarding world was gradually falling into chaos.
Last night was definitely a wake up call.
I think I probably experienced more emotions in the past ten hours than I’ve experienced in the past ten years. Conflict really has a way of making you get your bloody priorities straight. Then again… forget just last night, isn’t that what’s happened in my life for the past year?
Getting inexplicably engaged to Sirius Black.
Confronting the gaping hole in my memories.
Resolving the misunderstandings we had in the past.
Even Sonata spontaneously transferring to Hogwarts earlier this term! I mean, okay, I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the news, but I have to admit… if she wasn’t here muddling up the whole situation with Sirius, I don’t think I would’ve realized that the answer was sitting in plain sight.
Life… has a funny way of working itself out sometimes.
I grin to myself and reach my arms over my head in a satisfying stretch. The motion makes my face break out into a jaw-splitting yawn and I finish it off with a loud sigh before looking over my shoulder at the spiral staircase behind me.
“He’s sure taking his sweet time,” I say under my breath. “Wonder what they’re talking about up there…”
I shrug and then turn back around to rest my chin on my knees.
Where am I?
Sitting on the bottom step of the spiral staircase up to the Headmaster’s Office. After we woke up this morning, Sirius decided that he would finally have the long-awaited talk with Professor Dumbledore about everything that’s been going on with his family and the Death Eaters.
And… I guess I decided to tag along?
Well, partly because I didn’t want to wait even a second to hear about his conversation with the headmaster and partly because, well, why not? Might as well take advantage of the fact that students rarely come up to the Headmaster’s Tower and have some quiet time to myself.
Then again, now that I’ve pondered pretty much every bloody thought under the sun…
I pull out my wand from my back pocket and wave it in the air.
A small flock of birds sprout from the tip of my wand. I watch them fly around my head for a long moment before twirling my wand between my fingers.
Hmmmmm… should I transfigure this canary into a puppy? Or an elephant…? I mean, puppies are so much easier and there’s always the problem of elephants being bloody humongous. Then again, I could always transfigure a puppy-sized elephant inste—
“AGH, WHAT THE—crap, ow!”
I jump nearly a meter in the air before landing and then sliding down a few steps down the staircase on my rear. “Owwww…” I groan, rubbing my tailbone. “Sirius, you juvenile little git!”
I shoot a glare over my shoulder only to find the assailant in question clutching his stomach and roaring with unsuppressed laughter.
“Blimey, you should’ve seen your face!” he chokes out. “Oh, geez, I get you every time!”
“NEGATIVE BOYFRIEND POINTS,” I bellow, though the irritated tone is somewhat belied by the small smile starting to form on my face.
Sirius wipes a tear from the corner of his eye. “Alright, alright, I’m sorry, okay?” He grins and then reaches out a hand to help me up. “You were just looking so comtemplative, I couldn’t help it!”
I roll my eyes as I grasp his outstretched hand. “I swear sometimes I don’t know why I put up with you, Sirius Black.”
“Oh, you know why.”
He flashes me a mischievous grin and then yanks me up and into his arms.
I give a jolt when he leans down to kiss me on the cheek, my face turning pink. “Oi!” I yelp. “Right next to the Headmaster’s Office? Didn’t make you out to be that much of a voyeur.”
Sirius sticks out a tongue impishly. “It’s not like he’s watching,” he teases. “And don’t even try to pretend you don’t enjoy every second of this.”
“Better watch that ego,” I retort, the corners of my mouth tilting upwards. “Any bigger and you’ll accidentally suffocate me.”
“Aww, look at you trying to put me in my place.” He grins and pokes me in the cheek.
I roll my eyes again before reaching down for his hand. “There needs to be someone in this school you can’t one-up all the time,” I point out as I start leading him back down the staircase. “How did the whole talk with Dumbledore go anyway? You were in there for pretty long.”
Sirius shrugs and shoves his other hand into his back pocket.
“Alright, I guess,” he says vaguely. “You know what was bizarre though? I told him about what happened and everything I’ve heard about the Death Eaters’ plans and he didn’t even look surprised!”
“Yeah, I mean, he looked concerned, that’s for sure, but it definitely wasn’t news to him.”
I make a face, somewhat impressed. “Guess Lucius was right about one thing. Dumbledore really must have eyes and ears everywhere.”
“Tell me about it,” Sirius agrees. He rubs the back of his neck thoughtfully. “Though he did look rather worried when I told him about the threat Bellatrix made against me.”
“The threat?” I repeat, my brows furrowing. “You mean when she said that she’d make sure the Dark Lord made special plans for you or whatever it was? Well, Dumbledore should be worried! What if they decide to target you or something?”
Sirius lets out a short laugh. “Yeah, and I’ll be just as targeted as any other blood traitor.” He takes one look at the worried look on my face and grins. “Hey, keep frowning like that and your face’ll get stuck,” he quips. “Don’t worry so much!”
I blow air into my cheeks before letting the air out in a sigh. “Side-effect of caring about you, Sirius.”
My words make his grin broaden. “Thanks, love.” He gives my hand a squeeze before glancing around. “Where are we going anyway?”
“To the lake,” I reply promptly as I pull him out the front doors and onto the Hogwarts Grounds. “The rest of the gang are already there. James and Remus convinced the house elves to make a few extra sandwiches for us so that we could all have a picnic.”
“Wait, all of us?” Sirius abruptly stops in his tracks halfway down the path towards the lake. “You mean, just the usual lot or is this including Sonata?”
I glance over at him, amused. “Why?”
“Oi, you know very well why,” he mutters, frowning at the smirk on my face. “I haven’t seen her at all since the whole thing happened in the Forbidden Forest. You think I want her jumping all over me at this point?”
“Ohhhh, thaaaaat…” I say, drawing out the word in mock thoughtfulness. “Nah, she’s not around. I think she’s hanging around Rize’s friend group more these days, especially since I talked with her about some things last night.”
Sirius raises an eyebrow. “What things?”
I shrug. “You things.”
“Me as in… what things?”
“As in, I kind of gave her this whole speech about how I don’t care how much she likes you or wants you because I like you a lot and it doesn’t matter that she’s my sister since either way I’m serious about you and I’m not just about to give you up that easily and she pretty much relinquished you entirely, so yeah everything kind of worked itself out in the end,” I comment casually, looking off into the distance.
I glance over at Sirius from the corner of my eye to see him blink, stunned, before breaking out into the widest goofy smile I’d ever seen.
“Really?” he says, grinning like an idiot.
I can’t help but grin myself when he grabs my other hand and pulls me close to wrap his arms around my waist. “Yeah, pretty much,” I reply cheerfully.
“So, you’re not going to argue this time. We’re really dating then?”
“Ye-up, that’s about right.”
Sirius makes a show of dropping his head back and letting out an over-dramatic groan. “Bloody hell, finally!”
“Hey, it hasn’t been that long!” I protest, hitting him in the chest. “I’ve only met you like a year ago!”
“I’VE KNOWN YOU FOR OVER TEN YEARS, YOU GIT.”
I wince, laughing at the affronted look on his face. “Alright, alright, so my memory is still a bit fuzzy on that front.”
“You’re killing me here,” he sighs under his breath before looking down at me. The exasperation in his eyes slowly morphs into warm, tender expression as he brushes a lock of hair behind my ear. “But… guess we’ll just have to make new ones then, huh?”
I smile up at him. “Guess so.”
Sirius leans down to kiss me again. And this time, the feel of his lips is familiar, but at the same time entirely different. There’s no sense of desperation or a surge of unrestrained passion threatening to erupt at any second. This time, it’s just soft and gentle. Every touch is innocent and sweet as if the feeling is meant to last a lifetime and I—
“SERIOUSLY, GET A ROOM, YOU TWO.”
Sirius and I quickly break apart and glance over my shoulder to see James rolling his eyes and the rest of the gang roaring with laughter by the edge of the lake. A picnic cloth is splayed out on the grass under the beech tree and a mountain of sandwiches on a platter is placed in the center of it. The echo of their laughs is so infectious and I find myself giggling as well.
“Prongs, you ungrateful git!” bellows Sirius right back at him. “You don’t ever hear me interrupting you and Lily every time you try to get some! C’mon, Cecilia, let’s go back inside,” he adds, nodding back at the castle.
I raise an eyebrow. “For what?”
“What, she says.” Sirius lets out an exaggerated sigh. “Snogging, duh. What else—oof!”
He coughs when I elbow him playfully in the ribs. I flash him a mischievous grin before running down the path towards the lake and he hollers as he goes chasing after me.
Alright, so maybe things’ll never really change between me and Sirius.
And why should it? So what if a life-changing war is going to erupt in the wizarding world? So what if dark days may eventually come upon us? So what if carefree adolescence will inevitably come to an end?
Maybe things don’t haveto come to an end.
Not if we don’t let it. Pulling pranks. Joking around. Staying up late and fooling around and being unashamedly happy with not a care in the world. If there’s anything I’ve learned from leaving my homeschooled life, it’s that even if life gives me conflicts and hardships and everything I just want to run away from… things never have to be as hard as life makes it seem. Especially not with friends like Lily, James, Peter, Remus, and… Sirius.
Our time at Hogwarts will always be the never-ending halcyon days of our youth.
And whatever kinds of adventures we come across in this crazy school, we’ll take them in stride.
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